Brandon Lee Articles

Brandon Lee Articles

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nick

December 27th, 2006, 6:47 pm #1

BRANDON LEE

by Edwin J. Bernard

Brandon lee has mixed feelings about the legacy left for him by his father, the late martial arts legend Bruce Lee. "I don't want to be known only as Bruce Lee's son – to take a magic-carpet ride on my father's achievements, "says the 27-year-old six foot actor, who looks more like the love child of David Hasselhoff than the Enter the Dragon star who died in 1973. "I suppose I'm partly to blame too. I could have been a dentist."

Yup, Brandon only has himself to blame because every film he's made so far – Kung Fu: The Movie for American television, Legacy of Rage in Hong Kong, Showdown in Little Tokyo with Dulf Lundgren – has been a martial arts action movie, culminating in this month's Rapid Fire, in which Brandon kick-boxes his way through a violent world of heroin dealers and mob murders.

Yet somehow Brandon's knockout Eurasian looks and not inconsiderable charm have caught the attention of certain US critics. "It's very flattering," he says, "but if you're going to get turned on by all that, then I guess you have to take seriously the bad things they say about you too." Such as one critic who referred to him as a "smirking American Ken doll, fresh out of Hollywood High." But what the heck, Brandon doesn't think he's that great himself. "Every times I see myself on screen, I'm just thankful that it's not really, really bad," he laughs.

However, Lisa Hutton, his story-editor girlfriend of two years, with whom he shares a rented house in Beverly Hills, obviously thinks he's OK, though marriage seems out of the question. "We're very much in love and things are great," he says, coming over all new mannish, only to blow it by saying, "But why buy the cow when you can milk it?" Yes, Brandon, very 1890's.

Taken from ? - 1992

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Jay Leno Show May 25th 1992 - Interview with Brandon Lee

Transcribed by Andrew Staton

Jay Leno : Good to see ya. Gee, I thought you were gonna play ‘Everyone was Kung Fu fighting'. Now a lot of people might not know that Bruce Lee was your dad.
Brandon Lee: My whole life long, yeah.

JL: Your whole life long, that would make sense. So how old were you when you when you started doing martial arts?
BL: My dad started me as soon as I could walk. We have home movies and stuff, I'm about one and a half, something like that. It was part of the household when I was growing up.

JL: I remember reading at the time about your dad. (In fact I trained for about a year, I was terrible). Your dad inspired me and a whole bunch of people used to train down at this Bruce Lee studio, but it was a very different type of Karate, wasn't it?
BL: I think my dad would probably not like to hear it referred to as Karate. We've got the whole family here tonight, so you'd better be careful. My dad originated an art while he was alive called Jeet Kune Do. This was my fathers personal expression of martial arts. He had a circle of students who he taught while he was alive, and through that circle of students, one has gone on to be my teacher. The art of Jeet Kune Do has continued to exist in the world.

JL: I know at the time this was something that was Asian, it was confined to the Asian community, wasn't it? It wasn't something that was widely taught. Your father was the first guy to teach Caucasians and other races to do this.
BL: My dad ran into a great deal of flak in the community about that when he first came over and taught Caucasians. He ran into some flak from other Asian martial arts factions in the community, because up until that time the individual arts were very much separate with no transfer of information between the arts whatsoever. And that was part of what I think my father was interested in trying to see broken down. There was certainly no transfer between Asian and Caucasian races. It was almost considered an Asian ‘Secret Weapon'. Not to make a big thing about it, it certainly did exist at the time and my dad helped break that barrier down.

JL: Is it different among Asian communities, I mean are Korean martial arts so different to Japanese?
BL: A lot of different martial arts grow out of culture, sometimes they'll be something that is passed down through family, from generation to generation. Sometimes it's something that has grown up out of a religious sect or a certain province of a certain town.

JL: There were so many of those ‘bad' martial arts movies, they were so noisy and comical. Your dad had ‘star quality'.
BL: I always thought they should do one of those (scenes) where the guy reaches for the coffee cup and it's like (pretends to be in slow motion) ‘Whoosh..'

JL: Oh yeah. And they go like this (pretends to talk in double speed) and then ‘Give me a cup of coffee..'
BL: Like five minutes later, exactly.

JL: It's always the same guy who does the voice (puts on a bad English accent)," It sounds like someone is in trouble, I must go there!"
BL: Exactly.

JL: Have you ever had to use your martial arts to defend yourself, being Bruce Lee's kid? This must have been rough growing up, everybody must have wanted to pick a fight with you.
(Brandon replies in a very calm, measured voice)
BL: Sometimes, unfortunately that happened.

JL: A bit like David Carradine (Kung Fu TV show) now, "Why do you pick on me?" Then you chop the guy.
BL: I wish I had that much composure about the whole thing at the time.

JL: Have you ever had a street fight, has that kind of thing happened?
BL: I guess it's been a little over a year ago, I came home and caught a gentleman in the midst of robbing me.

JL: And he's a gentleman, not just a crook?
BL: I had a kind of feeling for him. I came home, I pulled up on my bike, the window was wide open, there was stuff all over the floor, so I knew I had been robbed. I jumped through the window and the guy was standing in the bedroom with my VCR in his hands. I saw him and he saw me. The house was such that rooms were connected, so he started running and I started running, we chased like a ‘Three Stooges' routine, going round and round the house. I would love to try and capture it on film sometime, the immensely silly and stupid things that happen in real life situations like this. So anyway he ended up taking a knife from the kitchen on his last circuit and we squared off in the living room. I got this little scar on my thumb out of it (showing Leno), but I ended up taking the knife from him. The police came and took him away and after he got out of the hospital he got two years for breaking and entering and attempted robbery. (Audience break into spontaneous applause.)

JL: And a fine gentleman he was?
BL: The thing that got me was, I have these pictures, these large blown up pictures of myself and my father when I was a child. My father is very recognisable as my father to the majority of the world. I've always wondered, they're right there on the walls, and I was wondering if this guy, in the midst of robbing me, was kind of like (adopts villain's attitude) "Let's see.." (pretending to rob items and looks up at the wall posters) "No, couldn't be.." You Know?

JL: Now we have a clip from your film, tell us a little about it.
BL: I'm playing a character who sees a murder committed by the head of the Chicago Mafia. The Mafia weren't too pleased with the victim and wanted to get rid of him because he was about to testify against him. They try and get rid of me too before I testify and these are their efforts to do just that…

JL: Let's take a look, here comes the monitor. This is from the film which opens this week-end.
BL: Yeah, this Friday.

This Friday. Rapid Fire starring Brandon Lee (Rolls clip).
(Ecstatic response to clip from the audience)

JL: I like these movies where you kill ten guys and then the eleventh guy goes "Let me get in there and try". Why do they do that, you just killed ten guys!
BL: The classic case for that is in Enter The Dragon, my dads film. When he performs the nunchaku sequence which he's very identified with, there's one character who sits and watches him do all this and then attacks him.

JL: Your dad would be very proud of you, I'm sure. The movie is Rapid Fire and opens this Friday. Brandon, pleasure meeting you.
BL: And you, thank you.

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The Lee way tough act to follow despite kung fu roles, Bruce Lee's son says he's different

by William Arnold

When kung fu superstar Bruce Lee died unexpectedly in 1973 at age 33, it was the beginning of a death-cult phenomenon rivaling those of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis Presley.

His legend has steadily grown, especially in Asia, where his life and mysterious death have become a small industry, celebrated in a barrage of novels, comic books, television programs, video games and movies.

On this side of the Pacific, what is being widely touted as the latest manifestation of this phenomenon is the emergence of Lee's 27-year-old (age) son, Brandon. His first major Hollywood film, a kung fu action piece called "Rapid Fire," opens Aug. 21.

But anyone expecting this Son of Bruce to be a rip-off or a clone is due for a big surprise. The BRANDON LEE who returned to Seattle recently to promote "Rapid Fire" is taller (by 5 inches), a better-trained actor and probably even a better martial artist than his famous father.

It is also clear two minutes into a conversation with him that he has no intention of trying to follow in his father's foot kicks.

"I think what my father did for the movies was great, but I basically take acting more seriously than he did. If there is a career I'd like to emulate, it would probably be someone like Mel Gibson, who broke in with action movies and still does action movies, but also does 'Hamlet."

Lee said he was born in Oakland, but his first memories are of the eight years his family lived in Hong Kong, where his father - who had lived in Seattle for many years and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in philosophy - had returned, and was establishing himself as an international superstar in a series of Hollywood-financed chop-socky films like "Fist of Fury" and "Enter the Dragon."

Brandon was 8 when his father died in the Hong Kong apartment of his leading lady, under circumstances that have given life to much speculation and rumor over the years. His body was brought back to Seattle for burial and the funeral became a media event, attended by stars like Steve McQueen and James Coburn. (Brandon is seen as a teary-eyed little boy in newspaper photos of the time.)

His upbringing after the funeral was as hectic as it had been before. "My mother, sister and I moved around a lot in those years. I still don't exactly have it straight. There were a couple of years in Calgary with my mother's family, and then we were back in Seattle for a year or so. Everett, I think. Then we finally moved down to L.A., where I went to high school."

Actually, he went to three high schools and was expelled from all three. "I guess you could say I had a rebellious streak. At the last one - a private school - I was the student-body president, and the day John Lennon was shot I called everyone in the senior class and - without any authorization, I admit - took it upon myself to cancel classes for the next day."

After he finally made it through high school, he settled down considerably at Emerson College in Massachusetts, where he majored in theater. "It's funny, but all my life I've known I wanted to be an actor. I've never had the slightest doubt or even considered a fall-back profession. And the ambition has never been for movie stardom, particularly. I'm much more comfortable playing character parts on the stage."

Since graduating seven years ago, Lee has more or less been paying his dues as a working actor. He has appeared in several Equity productions in New York, made his television debut in "Kung Fu: The Movie" in 1986, and he had co-starring roles in a Hong Kong kung fu movie called "Legacy of Rage" and a Hollywood film called "Showdown in Little Tokyo."

Lee said he has taken the ancient Chinese method of self-defense very seriously since his father started training him as a toddler, and his prowess in the two films was impressive. So impressive that Hollywood has been expecting him to emerge as an action-movie star since the late 1980s.

But he has approached the job offers "very cautiously." He said Universal offered him the plum lead role in the Bruce Lee BIOGRAPHY it is shooting, but he turned it down. "Maybe if I were more established I would have taken the part. But as it is, it seemed too risky, both psychologically and rofessionally."

Instead, he chose "Rapid Fire," a hard-driving, martial-arts movie in which he plays a cynical young Eurasian who runs afoul of both the Asian and Italian underworlds in contemporary Chicago. "I basically like the movie. It's not great art by any means, but it's not mean-spirited, and it's exciting. It does its job well." He also thinks the film is a good showcase for him as an actor and as a personality distinct from his father.

He is also set to play the lead in "The Crow" ("if the final deal can be made"), in which he will play a rock star obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe. But before that, he will return to the rented house in the Hollywood Hills he shares with his girlfriend, come down from a public-appearance tour all over the United States and Asia, and see what kind of reception "Rapid Fire" has when
it opens Aug. 21.

Lee said the Asian leg of his promotion tour did not represent a happy homecoming for him ("the Hong Kong press are just vultures!"). He speaks Cantonese ("well enough to get along") but he feels no particular affinity for Asia and does not want to live there. "The trip reinforced my suspicions that, despite my Pacific Rim heritage, I'm about as American as you get."

As for the inevitable questions about those unending rumors that his father's death was drug- or gang-related, Lee said they don't particularly bother him. "When I was a kid, I read those (tabloid) stories and, I'll tell you, they didn't do me any good. But I went to my mother and we talked about it and I know there's no truth in them. I now put them in the same category as Elvis
sightings."

from Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 13, 1992

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BRANDON LEE

BRUCE'S SON PUT HIS BEST FOOT FORWARD IN THE CHOPSOCKY 'RAPID FIRE'

It's either in the genes, or I watched too many of his movies as a kid,'' says Brandon Lee, explaining why his film roles echo those of his dad, martial-arts master Bruce Lee. The elder Lee died of a brain edema in 1973, when Brandon was 8, and the boy's American mom, Linda, moved the family from Hong Kong to L.A. But the kid picked up the power of kicks. In the new film Rapid Fire, his first American starring role, Lee, 27 (shown here in a double exposure), martials his own brand of coiled power as he out-chops crooked cops and crime bosses. Though he's following his dad's fancy footwork, Lee declined an offer to play him in the upcoming movie bio Dragon. ''It's such an intensely personal thing for me,'' he says. ''I'd probably have been a little too crazy.'' Lee celebrated his first big role, in 1986's Legacy of Rage (filmed in Hong Kong entirely in Cantonese), by buying a 1959 Cadillac hearse, the same kind of vehicle featured in the first movie he ever loved, Harold and Maude. Now settled in the Hollywood hills with a more conventional luxury sedan and living with story editor Lisa Hutton, he choreographs his own fisticuffs. ''A fight,'' he says, ''can express things people might not be able to say with words.''

From Entertainment Weekly, August 21, 1992.

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In the Shadow of the Master BRANDON LEE Dutifully Practices the Art His Father Preached

by Dennis King

When you start studying martial arts as a toddler and your teacher is an internationally acclaimed fighting master and star of explosive "chopsocky" movies - who also happens to be your father - people expect you to be pretty good.

"Yeah, when I was growing up there were a few scuffles on the playground and some people who singled me out just because of my dad," said BRANDON LEE during a recent telephone conversation.

"There was definitely a kind of reputation that came with being who I was. But that's to be expected, and it wasn't any big deal."

Lee's dad, the estimable BRUCE Lee _ who might rightly be deemed godfather to the generation of martial arts actors that includes Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal, among others _ casts a long shadow for anyone following in his path. In films such as "Fists of Fury" and "Enter the Dragon," the elder Lee practically defined the conventions of the martial-arts action film as we know it today.

But the father's shadow is one that BRANDON LEE finds reassuring and inspiring as he launches his own American career as a leading actor with the release this weekend of "Rapid Fire."

In "Rapid Fire," a lively martial arts adventure, BRANDON LEE plays an Asian-American college student who witnesses a mob assassination and ends up fighting for his life against Mafia hitmen and crooked cops. The young actor has ample opportunity to show off the fighting skills he picked up from his father _ and some of the acting chops he's learned for himself along the way.

"I have a lot of good memories of my dad," the younger Lee said, "beginning when I was just a kid and I used to work out with him and his circle of students. He practiced Jeet-kune-do, a martial art that he invented himself using moves and principles from many of the martial arts.

"Dad was a very, very dedicated trainer, and he taught me the right way to do things from the beginning," he said. "But I remember at first it was like play. Only later did martial arts become a discipline that I studied and worked very hard at."

By the same token, the 27-year-old knew from an early age that he also wanted to follow in his father's footsteps in another way.

"Every since I was young, I wanted to be an actor," the soft-spoken Lee said. "I've watched my father's films literally hundreds of times, and I always get inspired by them."

Brandon was 8 1/2 when his father died suddenly in 1973. His Swedish-American mother, he said, "had the good judgment to move to a (Los Angeles) suburb that was away from the Hollywood spotlight, so that we could grow up in a normal environment."

BRANDON LEE spent his early childhood in Hong Kong where his father made most of his films (he speaks Cantonese almost as fluently as he speaks English). He now lives in Los Angeles. His mother, LINDA Lee, has retired from teaching and remarried. His 24-year-old sister, Shannon Lee, is an opera singer.

He said his family has been very supportive of his choice of acting as a career.

After a spotty record in high school -"where I acted in school plays, you know, the regular stuff" -Brandon attended Emerson College in Massachusetts where he studied drama. After college, he studied acting and martial arts in New York, before returning to Los Angeles to pursue a film career.

He's continued to attend acting classes as he's made his first breaks into the movie business. His first professional acting role came in the CBS film "Kung-Fu: The Movie." Later, he was cast in "Showdown in Little Tokyo" with Dolph Lundgren, and "Legacy of Rage," a feature film in Hong Kong.

At this point, BRANDON LEE doesn't shy away from comparisons with his father.

"I think the legacy my father left is really a gift," he said. "It would be terribly ungrateful of me to whine around and say what a burden it is. It isn't. It's opened doors for me. But I have to be prepared to make it on my own talents."

As for how he stacks up against his father, Brandon said with a modest laugh, "Well, he was the master." After a thoughtful pause, he added, "My dad was a martial artist first and an actor second. I've devoted the majority of my time to being an actor."

In that vein, the young actor said, "I don't want to stay in martial arts action films my whole career. I want to do more of them; I enjoy the genre. But I'd also like to do a romantic comedy, a mystery, lots of other things. I want to be a versatile actor."

The conversation then turned quickly to a subject BRANDON LEE feels passionate about. Opportunities for Asian-American filmmakers.

"You know, what's happened recently with black filmmakers is a great thing," he said. "But we haven't seen the same thing happening for Asian-Americans.

"Several years ago, my father helped develop the TV series 'Kung Fu,' but the production company was afraid to cast an Asian in the starring role of a prime-time series. And then you have the whole Charlie Chan thing with western actors. That's been the attitude in Hollywood forever, and it really hasn't changed.

"Right now, in the film industry there are no Asian sex symbols," he said. "There's not even a single bankable Asian actor. There are many fine Asian character actors, but not one real star."

BRANDON LEE paused for dramatic effect, then he shot out a punchline like a well-timed spin kick. "I'd like to change that."

Taken from Entertainment, August 23, 1992

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SON OF BRUCE BREAKS LOOSE

by Michael Lipton and John Griffith

Fiesty Brandon Lee takes on Hollywood with his own martial (arts) plan.
Roaring down Muholland drive at 75 m.p.h., hunched over the tank of his motorcycle, Brandon Lee, 27, is definitely showing off. At one point, the son of the late, legendary martial-arts film star Bruce Lee cockily lets go of the Harley's handlebars and extends his arms to all Los Angeles. Lee's girlfriend of two years, Lisa Hutton, 28, a story editor for Billwater, Kiefer Sutherland's production company, stands beside the road unfazed. "I must think he's invincible too," she says, sighing. Lee pulls up beside her and hastily jams a fragile-looking helmet over his long black hair, just in case a cop comes by. "This goddamn helmet law!" he rants. "If I want to put my head in a brick wall, it's my business."

Lee's principal business these days is following the high-flying footsteps of his famous father, whose balletic acrobatics in chop-socky classics like the 1973 Enter the Dragon made him an international star. The son also rises (or hopes to) in the current Rapid Fire, his first solo U.S. starring vehicle, in which, as a college student battling gangsters, Lee (like his dad) choreographed most of his own fight scenes. Comparing Brandon with Bruce, producer Robert Lawrence observes, "His father had a burning intensity onscreen; Brandon's more fun. He's free-wheeling, hip, and tongue-in-cheek."

Offscreen, Lee's humor isn't always apparent. "When I first met him, I thought he was arrogant," says Hutton, with whom Lee shares a rented two-bedroom chalet-style house in Beverly Hills. "But he's not. He's confident, intense and direct, and a lot of people find that intimidating."

Including, no doubt, the burglar who broke into Lee's pad two years ago, confronting him with a kitchen knife. "You want to put that thing down," intoned the lean (6', 160-lb.), mean Lee, who, at age 2, was taught the martial art of Jeet Kune Do by his father. The intruder lunged anyway, slashing Lee on his left arm, but receiving, in turn a separated shoulder and a broken arm.

Actually, Lee would rather take than fight. Says his actor pal Miguel (Twin Peaks) Ferrero, son of Jose: "We'll sit around drinking, listening to Jackson Browne, solving the problems of the world until the sun comes up." One early topic of their bull sessions was Brandon's father. In 1973, Bruce Lee died without warning at age 32, from an edema (swelling) in his brain. Lee had been shooting a movie in his native Hong Kong, accompanied bye his American-born wife, Linda, daugher Shannon, 3, and Brandon, then 8. Shannon, now a singer who lives in New Orleans, says Brandon "was gravely affected" by their dad's death.

"But he has definitely come to terms with it."
The process was long and painful, though. "Like everyone, I was real respectful toward my dad," says Brandon. "He was quite the hero." But his sudden death triggered rumors of drug abuse, foul play, even voodoo, garishly served up in the tabloids. Not until he was a teen did Brandon realize the storied were "right about the same level as Elvis sightings at McDonald's." By then he also came to appreciate that his diminuitive father (5'7", 130-lbs.) wasn't superhuman but "just a guy". One of our biggest regrets, says Brandon, is "that I never got to spar with my dad after I was bigger than him".

He got into plenty of scrapes, however, with kids his own age after his mother moved the family first to Seattle, then to posh Rolling Hills, California, where Brandon was constantly challenged to prove himself as Bruce Lee's son. And, he says, "I always had a pretty good knack for raising hell". Indeed, he got kicked out of two high schools for insubordination and quit the third one in his senior year. But his father's profession beckoned. He took drama classes at Boston's Emerson College (where Jay Leno studied) and won roles off Broadway.In 1985, at 20, Lee went to Hollywood. Though the family name opened no doors and he wound up as a script reader, casting agent Lynn Stalmaster finally got him his TV debut in the short-lived Kung Fu: The Next Generation.

To leap onto the big screen, Brandon, like his father, had to go back to Hong Kong, where he starred in a Cantonese martial-arts film and later teamed with Dolph Lundgren in 1991's Showdown in Little Tokyo. Negotiating his next movie, The Crow, about a rock star back from the dead, Lee is living as fast as he can. A night owl ("I really kick into gear at 2 or 3 in the morning"), he jumps rope and bikes daily and trains at the martial-arts gym three times a week. "My dad said time was the most valuable thing a person had," he recalls. "That really struck me. I've made a conscious effort not to waste it."

Taken from 'People' weekly, September 7, 1992

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LEE'S SON STARS IN RAPID FIRE

LOS ANGELES—Brandon Lee, son of the late martial arts great Bruce Lee, plays the lead role in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film Rapid Fire, slated for release this summer. Lee stars as Jake Lo, a quiet art student from China. When he witnesses a brutal murder in Los Angeles' Chinatown district, he is forced to start using his martial arts skills to stay alive.
Lee, whose first American film, Showdown in Little Tokyo, drew mixed reviews, says that he has learned to live with being the son of a legend. "Since I can remember, my dad was always quite a phenomenon. Even more so after his death," he notes. "So my whole life I've lived with the reality that this very personal part of my life is completely public."

From Black Belt magazine, October 1992

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RISING SON

Brandon Lee, hero of Fox's action thriller, Rapid Fire, is a complex star in the making. And family is at the heart of this complexity - he's had to come to terms with his father Bruce's legacy. With a marketing campaign that relentlessly invokes his dad while touting him as the "Action Hero of the '90's," Rapid Fire is the first of Fox's three-picture commitment to Lee, a megadeal that could establish him as Hollywood's first Asian American male sex symbol since - well, since Bruce Lee. In this interview with Lee talks about his father, his career, action films and Asian American identity.

A. Magazine: About Rapid Fire: it seems like there's a lot going on in there that invites people to reflect on you and your history. For example, the theme about coming to terms with an absent father.

Brandon Lee: I think it's a little too pat to make a direct reference like that, and say that because a certain circumstance is true in an actor's life, then doing a film with a similar theme is an attempt on that actor's part to express something about it. It wasn't my idea for that to be the plot of the film, it was the writer and director's. Admittedly, it was one I didn't shy away from. It is interesting when you get offered a script and something that's going on in it clearly echoes something going on in you as well.

A.: But that question about following in your father's footsteps is a recurrent one.

BL: That's a question I can't really answer legitimately. You can't put a burden like that on yourself: it's a burden that only exists in other people's expectations of you. And you can't make choices in your career or your life based on other people's expectations. You have to make choices based on what your heart tells you to do. The character in this movie - Jake - is trying to come to some kind of peace with his father. That's something every young man needs to do in the process of growing from boy into man, and if you don't have your father around to give you that affirmation, then you just have to find that affirmation inside yourself, whether it's through visiting his grave or talking to his friends, or whatever.

A.: And you've done things like that?

BL: Well, it's an ongoing process, but when I think about following in my father's footsteps, I feel I've come to a certain amount of peace with trying to live up to something, and now all I try to do is my own work. Because that's all you can ask anybody to do. You can't ask somebody to try and copy somebody else.

A.: So are you happy with the martial arts direction? I remember years ago you saying that this is a vocabulary that you are used to, good at, and so on, but it's just a side of you.

BL: Well, I struggled for a while with: Do I want to do this, or do I want to stay away from it entirely, and just stick with straight acting roles, even if it means less work? And what I eventually decided was, after Showdown in Little Tokyo, in which I had very little input - I didn't choreograph the action sequences, I didn't have anything to do with the character except that I played it - I decided that I was just going to go into it, fully, and say "all right, if I'm going to do this, then I'm going to be able to walk away from this film and say, `you may not like it, but that's my vision.'" And there it is. I jumped in and did the choreography with the stunt coordinator, Jeff Amada. It was a good experience.

A.: Seems to me your character in Rapid Fire is pretty complex. Comparing it to Showdown, for example, in which you play a kind of assimilated "regular American guy" - in this film you're more of a mix.

BL: You know, the part in Showdown was so two-dimensional, and I'm sure some of that was my fault, but it just didn't compare to this. This was a much more involved work for me, and I found it a lot more rewarding. In Showdown I was the comic relief, basically. I had a good time with it, some of the scenes were really fun. I still really enjoy that scene where all the yakuza guys pull their guns on us, and my character gets to take his badge out and do that little monologue - I liked that, but I mean the guy's whole backstory in the film is summed up in one sentence: "Hey, you know, I'm from the Valley and my dad's a dentist." That's it. That's all you ever know about him. There was a lot more meat on Jake's bones.

A.: With Showdown, there was talk about it being a Japan-bashing film. That may be a bit ... nutty, but the Asian American community's reaction to it is interesting anyway. How do you relate to that?

BL: Well, to put it in a nutshell - see, I grew up in Hong Kong, so my very deeply ingrained memories and values - certainly filtered through having grown up in America for the majority of my life - the ones that got set in real deep, came from Chinese culture.

A.: You were there as a child.

BL: Yeah, I was there till I was nine, and I spoke Cantonese fluently, all my friends were Chinese. I went to Lasalle Academy, which is a Catholic school on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. But most of my experience with what it's like to be Asian in America comes through some strong feelings I have about my dad, strangely enough. The thing is, I don't look particularly Asian, and so I haven't been privy to being treated as particularly Asian, except on some very rare occasions. I'm sure you've had different experiences. Because if I walk into a room, unless someone knows who I am, it's very rare that someone will come up and say, "Do you have some Chinese blood in you?"

The thing about my dad was, so it's the early to mid '60s, and he's doing The Green Hornet, and he ended up having to go to Hong Kong to get the bulk of his work, because at that point a major American studio or TV station wasn't about to put an Asian man in the leading role in a Hollywood production. That was almost 30 years ago. The thing is, right now in 1992 there is not a single bankable Asian star in Hollywood. Not one.

So that's where I get most of my feelings about the matter, to tell you the truth.

A.: Also, I think that when he came back as a star, it was really as a foreign star, curiously enough.

BL: And the other fucked thing about it, you'll excuse my saying so, is that it was also almost entirely posthumous for the American public. By the time they figured it out, he was gone.

A.: I was also thinking as I watched the film that your character plays out the complexity of his mixed identity by passing in different communities. By speaking Chinese, by going into the laundry, it's possible for you to pass as this immigrant worker, while at other times you fly through non-Asian society and aren't marked - except for moments, for instance, in the hotel when these mock FBI guys say something like, "Oh, we could order out Chinese." That's a really interesting moment.

BL: Well, it's funny. Growing up, because a lot of people wouldn't consider me Chinese, there have been several times - the majority of what I've experienced as any kind of Asian prejudice - when people have felt comfortable making rude remarks in my presence, like I wouldn't mind because I don't look Asian or something, you know what I mean? And there have been many times when I've had to look at somebody and go, "Excuse me?" Then they get kind of abashed, like "oh, I'm sorry, I didn't really mean that."

They probably wouldn't do that in front of you.

A.: Well, you'd be surprised.

BL: Yeah, I probably would.

A.: What do you think about the marketing - the sex symbol, action hero of the '90s thing?

BL: I think it's really artificial. For one thing, it's very presumptuous, and for another, like all marketing, it just makes me recoil, the whole concept of it, and it's a side of this profession that I'm learning more about the more involved I get with my films. It's distasteful - you reduce something to its lowest common denominator - but I put myself in this position in order to be able to do something I dearly love doing. It's kind of Machiavellian: do the means justify the ends, you know?

A.: And yet it has a life of it's own. There's this whole other life that these images take on. I think that happened in the marketing of Rapid Fire.

BL: I just want people to come see the film. I'm not concerned about what people will think afterwards. I think that the marketing of this film - and I've told anybody who was involved in it that would listen - trivializes it to an extent, and they have told me, "well, the reason we're doing this is because it's supposed to appeal to this one particular crowd." I just hate all that shit. It just seems so manipulative to me. But then a movie that I enjoyed very much, Prelude to a Kiss, comes out and just does zip at the box office, and you hear people say it's because it was not readily understandable by the shopping mall audience. If I were to see the marketing and know nothing about Rapid Fire I would dismiss it: I'd say oh please!

The thing is, these films, the ones that work - like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon - you care about the characters, and there were stakes because of that. You care whether they lived or died. If you don't have that, then it becomes just about who can make a bigger explosion in the next reel, who can break more glass in the next scene.

A.: Speaking of blood and guts, I know that you worked in Hong Kong. I was wondering what you think of the whole new wave of Hong Kong action films, like John Woo's films.

BL: I admire them a great deal. There's so much inventiveness - the films that have been coming out in Hong Kong for the last decade are the cutting edge of action stuff.

A.: I'm really impressed by how much emotion they squeeze into those things. I mean, Jackie Chan, for instance, goes through a whole range of different rhythms: totally comedic action, serious action, sad action.

BL: They keep the same beats through an action scene that a dramatic scene would have, and they express character through a sequence instead of having it just become about blowing stuff up. And they do it inventively, and sometimes breathtakingly. Doing the choreography for Rapid Fire, I really wanted to bring the flavor of that to American film, to an American audience.

A.: What about your Hong Kong film - Legacy of Rage? How did you find that experience?

BL: At the time, it just about drove me insane, because things are so chaotic over there. I was working with a relatively new film company, DMB Films, and not only was there not a shooting schedule most days, there wasn't even a script. You know, you'd show up on the set, and it was just improvised from take to take. In some ways it was a really good experience, because it was like getting thrown in the deep end and having somebody say swim, but I was there for six months. When I got off the plane I literally kissed the ground all the way to the car.

A.: Do you have an audience out there? Did it do well?

BL: Yeah, it did. I think it was the second highest grossing movie of that year for Asia.

A.: Would you go back to work there?

BL: With a Chinese production? I don't know. It would depend who it was. There are people over there I would like to work with, I was thinking it would be nice for them to come over here. But if they invited me to come over I'd seriously think about it.

A.: Well, it'll be interesting to see what happens there, in '97 and all.

BL: I'm going to be there. I have a hotel suite booked. I'm serious - it's four years in advance, and they usually don't do it, but I have a good friend over there, so we have two different hotel suites booked: one at the Peninsula Hotel, and one at this new hotel that they haven't even finished building yet. But when it's finished, we've got hotel suites for that week in June or July when the regime switches over. It's gonna be amazing. You have to be there, you know, you have to be there! It's going to be a quarter revolution, a quarter riot, a quarter eulogy, and a quarter party. There'll be expatriates drinking and wailing in the streets.

A.: What do you plan to do? What are your next projects like?

BL: The next project's called The Crow. It's actually based on a graphic novella, you know, like The Dark Knight Returns, but this one's a little bit more underground than that Frank Miller Batman piece. It's by a guy named James O'Barr, and I'm playing a rock musician who is murdered and returns from the dead.

A.: Will it have action?

BL: It does. I'm doing the choreography again. I haven't really decided how I'm going to approach it yet, because to me you have to fit the action very much to the tone of the piece. Rapid Fire is a theatrical action movie. The fight scenes in it are not what I would say, "Hey, this is what a real fight looks like." You know, the techniques are still valid, but you're walking a line between reality and theatricality. That's why I think Hong Kong action movies don't play in this country - one of the reasons - because they go too far in the direction of theatricality. And they undercrank all the action, which makes it come off looking a bit frenetic and cartoonish.

A.: Yeah, but the audience has a real vocabulary for that ...

BL: But it's that audience. Doing it for an American film, I was very conscious of exactly that. There were things we wanted to do, but we just shook our heads and grinned and said "Ah, we can't do that."

Actually, Jeff and I talk about it a lot. It'll be great: we'll do this one, and then we'll do one more, and then on the third one we'll really be able to let go because we'll have built a...vocabulary, like you said. The Crow is a very dark piece, it's got supernatural overtones, obviously, the guy comes back from the dead. And he's a little bit more, and a little bit less than human - he's something different than human. And so the action's going to be a little bit wilder than in Rapid Fire. I mean, it won't be a straight action film.

A.: Well, there are a lot of elements in Rapid Fire that play against the straight action film, like the way the character's introduced with a flashback to Tiananmen.

BL: I'm telling you, for that scene, they rebuilt the Goddess of Democracy, they had six Soviet tanks, and three or four hundred screaming, running, bleeding Chinese student extras with automatic weapon fire going off. And so much thought had gone into it on my part, but when we actually shot it I found that I didn't have to do a goddamn thing except stand there and look at it.

I enjoyed that whole part.

A.: And there's that little Cantonese insult scene, where you're making fun of Ryan, your white boss, and he doesn't understand what's going on.

BL: It's funny, because for that sequence the director just said, say something insulting to him, it doesn't matter what. So I said something pretty insulting, and they didn't subtitle it, and they never asked me what it meant. Anybody who speaks Cantonese in the audience ... I don't know, it might be pushing the MPAA rating, you know? (Laughter)

A.: I'm not sure any of the ratings people will know what's going on. But there again it seems to me that your presence in this film generates other interesting effects. It's as if you had an action film and the lead was black - you're going to see other blacks in the film, you've got to have some reflection on that theme ...

BL: Well, okay, just as an example: in the last decade, the African American film scene has really jumped. You have African American directors, writer, actors, and that's something you really can't say about the Asian American film scene. And the thing is, a lot of black actors now are saying, you know, that even though I'm black, I can still play an Everyman character that's not specifically related to me as a black man. When those films were first coming up, a lot of them were about people telling stories of their neighborhoods, their people, how and where they grew up. There's a wealth of stories like that from the Asian American community that hasn't been tapped into yet.

A.: And that's a preliminary stage, it seems to me, too. Having that presence out there, to the point where you don't feel ghettoized by having to tell just those stories.

BL: Exactly. You reach the point once more where you get to where you should have been in the first place, and you can play the Everyman character, and not have it stand out glaringly: this man is Asian American, this man is African American.

A.: So do you see that as part of your project? Is that something you're conscious of in your career?

BL: If anything, the only thing that I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder is about just that: wanting to advance. Maybe in 10 years there'll be more Asians in film. That's something my father started to bring about and didn't have time to finish, and something that I think I'll have a chance to work on a little bit more.

A.: It's a pretty heavy burden to place on your shoulders. Not only do you have to act, but you represent people in a way.

BL: Oh, but the thing is: you only have the burdens on you that you choose to put there.


From A. Magazine, October 31, 1992

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Milosz
Milosz

December 27th, 2006, 8:41 pm #2

enjoyed Jay Leno interview. Does anyone have it recored?
Thanks Nick!
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Tisee
Tisee

December 27th, 2006, 10:44 pm #3

Thank you, Nick! Those were a great read. It's such a shame what happened to Brandon. He seemed to be a truly genuine guy.
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Roper
Roper

December 28th, 2006, 12:59 am #4

BRANDON LEE

by Edwin J. Bernard

Brandon lee has mixed feelings about the legacy left for him by his father, the late martial arts legend Bruce Lee. "I don't want to be known only as Bruce Lee's son – to take a magic-carpet ride on my father's achievements, "says the 27-year-old six foot actor, who looks more like the love child of David Hasselhoff than the Enter the Dragon star who died in 1973. "I suppose I'm partly to blame too. I could have been a dentist."

Yup, Brandon only has himself to blame because every film he's made so far – Kung Fu: The Movie for American television, Legacy of Rage in Hong Kong, Showdown in Little Tokyo with Dulf Lundgren – has been a martial arts action movie, culminating in this month's Rapid Fire, in which Brandon kick-boxes his way through a violent world of heroin dealers and mob murders.

Yet somehow Brandon's knockout Eurasian looks and not inconsiderable charm have caught the attention of certain US critics. "It's very flattering," he says, "but if you're going to get turned on by all that, then I guess you have to take seriously the bad things they say about you too." Such as one critic who referred to him as a "smirking American Ken doll, fresh out of Hollywood High." But what the heck, Brandon doesn't think he's that great himself. "Every times I see myself on screen, I'm just thankful that it's not really, really bad," he laughs.

However, Lisa Hutton, his story-editor girlfriend of two years, with whom he shares a rented house in Beverly Hills, obviously thinks he's OK, though marriage seems out of the question. "We're very much in love and things are great," he says, coming over all new mannish, only to blow it by saying, "But why buy the cow when you can milk it?" Yes, Brandon, very 1890's.

Taken from ? - 1992

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Jay Leno Show May 25th 1992 - Interview with Brandon Lee

Transcribed by Andrew Staton

Jay Leno : Good to see ya. Gee, I thought you were gonna play ‘Everyone was Kung Fu fighting'. Now a lot of people might not know that Bruce Lee was your dad.
Brandon Lee: My whole life long, yeah.

JL: Your whole life long, that would make sense. So how old were you when you when you started doing martial arts?
BL: My dad started me as soon as I could walk. We have home movies and stuff, I'm about one and a half, something like that. It was part of the household when I was growing up.

JL: I remember reading at the time about your dad. (In fact I trained for about a year, I was terrible). Your dad inspired me and a whole bunch of people used to train down at this Bruce Lee studio, but it was a very different type of Karate, wasn't it?
BL: I think my dad would probably not like to hear it referred to as Karate. We've got the whole family here tonight, so you'd better be careful. My dad originated an art while he was alive called Jeet Kune Do. This was my fathers personal expression of martial arts. He had a circle of students who he taught while he was alive, and through that circle of students, one has gone on to be my teacher. The art of Jeet Kune Do has continued to exist in the world.

JL: I know at the time this was something that was Asian, it was confined to the Asian community, wasn't it? It wasn't something that was widely taught. Your father was the first guy to teach Caucasians and other races to do this.
BL: My dad ran into a great deal of flak in the community about that when he first came over and taught Caucasians. He ran into some flak from other Asian martial arts factions in the community, because up until that time the individual arts were very much separate with no transfer of information between the arts whatsoever. And that was part of what I think my father was interested in trying to see broken down. There was certainly no transfer between Asian and Caucasian races. It was almost considered an Asian ‘Secret Weapon'. Not to make a big thing about it, it certainly did exist at the time and my dad helped break that barrier down.

JL: Is it different among Asian communities, I mean are Korean martial arts so different to Japanese?
BL: A lot of different martial arts grow out of culture, sometimes they'll be something that is passed down through family, from generation to generation. Sometimes it's something that has grown up out of a religious sect or a certain province of a certain town.

JL: There were so many of those ‘bad' martial arts movies, they were so noisy and comical. Your dad had ‘star quality'.
BL: I always thought they should do one of those (scenes) where the guy reaches for the coffee cup and it's like (pretends to be in slow motion) ‘Whoosh..'

JL: Oh yeah. And they go like this (pretends to talk in double speed) and then ‘Give me a cup of coffee..'
BL: Like five minutes later, exactly.

JL: It's always the same guy who does the voice (puts on a bad English accent)," It sounds like someone is in trouble, I must go there!"
BL: Exactly.

JL: Have you ever had to use your martial arts to defend yourself, being Bruce Lee's kid? This must have been rough growing up, everybody must have wanted to pick a fight with you.
(Brandon replies in a very calm, measured voice)
BL: Sometimes, unfortunately that happened.

JL: A bit like David Carradine (Kung Fu TV show) now, "Why do you pick on me?" Then you chop the guy.
BL: I wish I had that much composure about the whole thing at the time.

JL: Have you ever had a street fight, has that kind of thing happened?
BL: I guess it's been a little over a year ago, I came home and caught a gentleman in the midst of robbing me.

JL: And he's a gentleman, not just a crook?
BL: I had a kind of feeling for him. I came home, I pulled up on my bike, the window was wide open, there was stuff all over the floor, so I knew I had been robbed. I jumped through the window and the guy was standing in the bedroom with my VCR in his hands. I saw him and he saw me. The house was such that rooms were connected, so he started running and I started running, we chased like a ‘Three Stooges' routine, going round and round the house. I would love to try and capture it on film sometime, the immensely silly and stupid things that happen in real life situations like this. So anyway he ended up taking a knife from the kitchen on his last circuit and we squared off in the living room. I got this little scar on my thumb out of it (showing Leno), but I ended up taking the knife from him. The police came and took him away and after he got out of the hospital he got two years for breaking and entering and attempted robbery. (Audience break into spontaneous applause.)

JL: And a fine gentleman he was?
BL: The thing that got me was, I have these pictures, these large blown up pictures of myself and my father when I was a child. My father is very recognisable as my father to the majority of the world. I've always wondered, they're right there on the walls, and I was wondering if this guy, in the midst of robbing me, was kind of like (adopts villain's attitude) "Let's see.." (pretending to rob items and looks up at the wall posters) "No, couldn't be.." You Know?

JL: Now we have a clip from your film, tell us a little about it.
BL: I'm playing a character who sees a murder committed by the head of the Chicago Mafia. The Mafia weren't too pleased with the victim and wanted to get rid of him because he was about to testify against him. They try and get rid of me too before I testify and these are their efforts to do just that…

JL: Let's take a look, here comes the monitor. This is from the film which opens this week-end.
BL: Yeah, this Friday.

This Friday. Rapid Fire starring Brandon Lee (Rolls clip).
(Ecstatic response to clip from the audience)

JL: I like these movies where you kill ten guys and then the eleventh guy goes "Let me get in there and try". Why do they do that, you just killed ten guys!
BL: The classic case for that is in Enter The Dragon, my dads film. When he performs the nunchaku sequence which he's very identified with, there's one character who sits and watches him do all this and then attacks him.

JL: Your dad would be very proud of you, I'm sure. The movie is Rapid Fire and opens this Friday. Brandon, pleasure meeting you.
BL: And you, thank you.

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The Lee way tough act to follow despite kung fu roles, Bruce Lee's son says he's different

by William Arnold

When kung fu superstar Bruce Lee died unexpectedly in 1973 at age 33, it was the beginning of a death-cult phenomenon rivaling those of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis Presley.

His legend has steadily grown, especially in Asia, where his life and mysterious death have become a small industry, celebrated in a barrage of novels, comic books, television programs, video games and movies.

On this side of the Pacific, what is being widely touted as the latest manifestation of this phenomenon is the emergence of Lee's 27-year-old (age) son, Brandon. His first major Hollywood film, a kung fu action piece called "Rapid Fire," opens Aug. 21.

But anyone expecting this Son of Bruce to be a rip-off or a clone is due for a big surprise. The BRANDON LEE who returned to Seattle recently to promote "Rapid Fire" is taller (by 5 inches), a better-trained actor and probably even a better martial artist than his famous father.

It is also clear two minutes into a conversation with him that he has no intention of trying to follow in his father's foot kicks.

"I think what my father did for the movies was great, but I basically take acting more seriously than he did. If there is a career I'd like to emulate, it would probably be someone like Mel Gibson, who broke in with action movies and still does action movies, but also does 'Hamlet."

Lee said he was born in Oakland, but his first memories are of the eight years his family lived in Hong Kong, where his father - who had lived in Seattle for many years and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in philosophy - had returned, and was establishing himself as an international superstar in a series of Hollywood-financed chop-socky films like "Fist of Fury" and "Enter the Dragon."

Brandon was 8 when his father died in the Hong Kong apartment of his leading lady, under circumstances that have given life to much speculation and rumor over the years. His body was brought back to Seattle for burial and the funeral became a media event, attended by stars like Steve McQueen and James Coburn. (Brandon is seen as a teary-eyed little boy in newspaper photos of the time.)

His upbringing after the funeral was as hectic as it had been before. "My mother, sister and I moved around a lot in those years. I still don't exactly have it straight. There were a couple of years in Calgary with my mother's family, and then we were back in Seattle for a year or so. Everett, I think. Then we finally moved down to L.A., where I went to high school."

Actually, he went to three high schools and was expelled from all three. "I guess you could say I had a rebellious streak. At the last one - a private school - I was the student-body president, and the day John Lennon was shot I called everyone in the senior class and - without any authorization, I admit - took it upon myself to cancel classes for the next day."

After he finally made it through high school, he settled down considerably at Emerson College in Massachusetts, where he majored in theater. "It's funny, but all my life I've known I wanted to be an actor. I've never had the slightest doubt or even considered a fall-back profession. And the ambition has never been for movie stardom, particularly. I'm much more comfortable playing character parts on the stage."

Since graduating seven years ago, Lee has more or less been paying his dues as a working actor. He has appeared in several Equity productions in New York, made his television debut in "Kung Fu: The Movie" in 1986, and he had co-starring roles in a Hong Kong kung fu movie called "Legacy of Rage" and a Hollywood film called "Showdown in Little Tokyo."

Lee said he has taken the ancient Chinese method of self-defense very seriously since his father started training him as a toddler, and his prowess in the two films was impressive. So impressive that Hollywood has been expecting him to emerge as an action-movie star since the late 1980s.

But he has approached the job offers "very cautiously." He said Universal offered him the plum lead role in the Bruce Lee BIOGRAPHY it is shooting, but he turned it down. "Maybe if I were more established I would have taken the part. But as it is, it seemed too risky, both psychologically and rofessionally."

Instead, he chose "Rapid Fire," a hard-driving, martial-arts movie in which he plays a cynical young Eurasian who runs afoul of both the Asian and Italian underworlds in contemporary Chicago. "I basically like the movie. It's not great art by any means, but it's not mean-spirited, and it's exciting. It does its job well." He also thinks the film is a good showcase for him as an actor and as a personality distinct from his father.

He is also set to play the lead in "The Crow" ("if the final deal can be made"), in which he will play a rock star obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe. But before that, he will return to the rented house in the Hollywood Hills he shares with his girlfriend, come down from a public-appearance tour all over the United States and Asia, and see what kind of reception "Rapid Fire" has when
it opens Aug. 21.

Lee said the Asian leg of his promotion tour did not represent a happy homecoming for him ("the Hong Kong press are just vultures!"). He speaks Cantonese ("well enough to get along") but he feels no particular affinity for Asia and does not want to live there. "The trip reinforced my suspicions that, despite my Pacific Rim heritage, I'm about as American as you get."

As for the inevitable questions about those unending rumors that his father's death was drug- or gang-related, Lee said they don't particularly bother him. "When I was a kid, I read those (tabloid) stories and, I'll tell you, they didn't do me any good. But I went to my mother and we talked about it and I know there's no truth in them. I now put them in the same category as Elvis
sightings."

from Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 13, 1992

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BRANDON LEE

BRUCE'S SON PUT HIS BEST FOOT FORWARD IN THE CHOPSOCKY 'RAPID FIRE'

It's either in the genes, or I watched too many of his movies as a kid,'' says Brandon Lee, explaining why his film roles echo those of his dad, martial-arts master Bruce Lee. The elder Lee died of a brain edema in 1973, when Brandon was 8, and the boy's American mom, Linda, moved the family from Hong Kong to L.A. But the kid picked up the power of kicks. In the new film Rapid Fire, his first American starring role, Lee, 27 (shown here in a double exposure), martials his own brand of coiled power as he out-chops crooked cops and crime bosses. Though he's following his dad's fancy footwork, Lee declined an offer to play him in the upcoming movie bio Dragon. ''It's such an intensely personal thing for me,'' he says. ''I'd probably have been a little too crazy.'' Lee celebrated his first big role, in 1986's Legacy of Rage (filmed in Hong Kong entirely in Cantonese), by buying a 1959 Cadillac hearse, the same kind of vehicle featured in the first movie he ever loved, Harold and Maude. Now settled in the Hollywood hills with a more conventional luxury sedan and living with story editor Lisa Hutton, he choreographs his own fisticuffs. ''A fight,'' he says, ''can express things people might not be able to say with words.''

From Entertainment Weekly, August 21, 1992.

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In the Shadow of the Master BRANDON LEE Dutifully Practices the Art His Father Preached

by Dennis King

When you start studying martial arts as a toddler and your teacher is an internationally acclaimed fighting master and star of explosive "chopsocky" movies - who also happens to be your father - people expect you to be pretty good.

"Yeah, when I was growing up there were a few scuffles on the playground and some people who singled me out just because of my dad," said BRANDON LEE during a recent telephone conversation.

"There was definitely a kind of reputation that came with being who I was. But that's to be expected, and it wasn't any big deal."

Lee's dad, the estimable BRUCE Lee _ who might rightly be deemed godfather to the generation of martial arts actors that includes Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal, among others _ casts a long shadow for anyone following in his path. In films such as "Fists of Fury" and "Enter the Dragon," the elder Lee practically defined the conventions of the martial-arts action film as we know it today.

But the father's shadow is one that BRANDON LEE finds reassuring and inspiring as he launches his own American career as a leading actor with the release this weekend of "Rapid Fire."

In "Rapid Fire," a lively martial arts adventure, BRANDON LEE plays an Asian-American college student who witnesses a mob assassination and ends up fighting for his life against Mafia hitmen and crooked cops. The young actor has ample opportunity to show off the fighting skills he picked up from his father _ and some of the acting chops he's learned for himself along the way.

"I have a lot of good memories of my dad," the younger Lee said, "beginning when I was just a kid and I used to work out with him and his circle of students. He practiced Jeet-kune-do, a martial art that he invented himself using moves and principles from many of the martial arts.

"Dad was a very, very dedicated trainer, and he taught me the right way to do things from the beginning," he said. "But I remember at first it was like play. Only later did martial arts become a discipline that I studied and worked very hard at."

By the same token, the 27-year-old knew from an early age that he also wanted to follow in his father's footsteps in another way.

"Every since I was young, I wanted to be an actor," the soft-spoken Lee said. "I've watched my father's films literally hundreds of times, and I always get inspired by them."

Brandon was 8 1/2 when his father died suddenly in 1973. His Swedish-American mother, he said, "had the good judgment to move to a (Los Angeles) suburb that was away from the Hollywood spotlight, so that we could grow up in a normal environment."

BRANDON LEE spent his early childhood in Hong Kong where his father made most of his films (he speaks Cantonese almost as fluently as he speaks English). He now lives in Los Angeles. His mother, LINDA Lee, has retired from teaching and remarried. His 24-year-old sister, Shannon Lee, is an opera singer.

He said his family has been very supportive of his choice of acting as a career.

After a spotty record in high school -"where I acted in school plays, you know, the regular stuff" -Brandon attended Emerson College in Massachusetts where he studied drama. After college, he studied acting and martial arts in New York, before returning to Los Angeles to pursue a film career.

He's continued to attend acting classes as he's made his first breaks into the movie business. His first professional acting role came in the CBS film "Kung-Fu: The Movie." Later, he was cast in "Showdown in Little Tokyo" with Dolph Lundgren, and "Legacy of Rage," a feature film in Hong Kong.

At this point, BRANDON LEE doesn't shy away from comparisons with his father.

"I think the legacy my father left is really a gift," he said. "It would be terribly ungrateful of me to whine around and say what a burden it is. It isn't. It's opened doors for me. But I have to be prepared to make it on my own talents."

As for how he stacks up against his father, Brandon said with a modest laugh, "Well, he was the master." After a thoughtful pause, he added, "My dad was a martial artist first and an actor second. I've devoted the majority of my time to being an actor."

In that vein, the young actor said, "I don't want to stay in martial arts action films my whole career. I want to do more of them; I enjoy the genre. But I'd also like to do a romantic comedy, a mystery, lots of other things. I want to be a versatile actor."

The conversation then turned quickly to a subject BRANDON LEE feels passionate about. Opportunities for Asian-American filmmakers.

"You know, what's happened recently with black filmmakers is a great thing," he said. "But we haven't seen the same thing happening for Asian-Americans.

"Several years ago, my father helped develop the TV series 'Kung Fu,' but the production company was afraid to cast an Asian in the starring role of a prime-time series. And then you have the whole Charlie Chan thing with western actors. That's been the attitude in Hollywood forever, and it really hasn't changed.

"Right now, in the film industry there are no Asian sex symbols," he said. "There's not even a single bankable Asian actor. There are many fine Asian character actors, but not one real star."

BRANDON LEE paused for dramatic effect, then he shot out a punchline like a well-timed spin kick. "I'd like to change that."

Taken from Entertainment, August 23, 1992

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SON OF BRUCE BREAKS LOOSE

by Michael Lipton and John Griffith

Fiesty Brandon Lee takes on Hollywood with his own martial (arts) plan.
Roaring down Muholland drive at 75 m.p.h., hunched over the tank of his motorcycle, Brandon Lee, 27, is definitely showing off. At one point, the son of the late, legendary martial-arts film star Bruce Lee cockily lets go of the Harley's handlebars and extends his arms to all Los Angeles. Lee's girlfriend of two years, Lisa Hutton, 28, a story editor for Billwater, Kiefer Sutherland's production company, stands beside the road unfazed. "I must think he's invincible too," she says, sighing. Lee pulls up beside her and hastily jams a fragile-looking helmet over his long black hair, just in case a cop comes by. "This goddamn helmet law!" he rants. "If I want to put my head in a brick wall, it's my business."

Lee's principal business these days is following the high-flying footsteps of his famous father, whose balletic acrobatics in chop-socky classics like the 1973 Enter the Dragon made him an international star. The son also rises (or hopes to) in the current Rapid Fire, his first solo U.S. starring vehicle, in which, as a college student battling gangsters, Lee (like his dad) choreographed most of his own fight scenes. Comparing Brandon with Bruce, producer Robert Lawrence observes, "His father had a burning intensity onscreen; Brandon's more fun. He's free-wheeling, hip, and tongue-in-cheek."

Offscreen, Lee's humor isn't always apparent. "When I first met him, I thought he was arrogant," says Hutton, with whom Lee shares a rented two-bedroom chalet-style house in Beverly Hills. "But he's not. He's confident, intense and direct, and a lot of people find that intimidating."

Including, no doubt, the burglar who broke into Lee's pad two years ago, confronting him with a kitchen knife. "You want to put that thing down," intoned the lean (6', 160-lb.), mean Lee, who, at age 2, was taught the martial art of Jeet Kune Do by his father. The intruder lunged anyway, slashing Lee on his left arm, but receiving, in turn a separated shoulder and a broken arm.

Actually, Lee would rather take than fight. Says his actor pal Miguel (Twin Peaks) Ferrero, son of Jose: "We'll sit around drinking, listening to Jackson Browne, solving the problems of the world until the sun comes up." One early topic of their bull sessions was Brandon's father. In 1973, Bruce Lee died without warning at age 32, from an edema (swelling) in his brain. Lee had been shooting a movie in his native Hong Kong, accompanied bye his American-born wife, Linda, daugher Shannon, 3, and Brandon, then 8. Shannon, now a singer who lives in New Orleans, says Brandon "was gravely affected" by their dad's death.

"But he has definitely come to terms with it."
The process was long and painful, though. "Like everyone, I was real respectful toward my dad," says Brandon. "He was quite the hero." But his sudden death triggered rumors of drug abuse, foul play, even voodoo, garishly served up in the tabloids. Not until he was a teen did Brandon realize the storied were "right about the same level as Elvis sightings at McDonald's." By then he also came to appreciate that his diminuitive father (5'7", 130-lbs.) wasn't superhuman but "just a guy". One of our biggest regrets, says Brandon, is "that I never got to spar with my dad after I was bigger than him".

He got into plenty of scrapes, however, with kids his own age after his mother moved the family first to Seattle, then to posh Rolling Hills, California, where Brandon was constantly challenged to prove himself as Bruce Lee's son. And, he says, "I always had a pretty good knack for raising hell". Indeed, he got kicked out of two high schools for insubordination and quit the third one in his senior year. But his father's profession beckoned. He took drama classes at Boston's Emerson College (where Jay Leno studied) and won roles off Broadway.In 1985, at 20, Lee went to Hollywood. Though the family name opened no doors and he wound up as a script reader, casting agent Lynn Stalmaster finally got him his TV debut in the short-lived Kung Fu: The Next Generation.

To leap onto the big screen, Brandon, like his father, had to go back to Hong Kong, where he starred in a Cantonese martial-arts film and later teamed with Dolph Lundgren in 1991's Showdown in Little Tokyo. Negotiating his next movie, The Crow, about a rock star back from the dead, Lee is living as fast as he can. A night owl ("I really kick into gear at 2 or 3 in the morning"), he jumps rope and bikes daily and trains at the martial-arts gym three times a week. "My dad said time was the most valuable thing a person had," he recalls. "That really struck me. I've made a conscious effort not to waste it."

Taken from 'People' weekly, September 7, 1992

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LEE'S SON STARS IN RAPID FIRE

LOS ANGELES—Brandon Lee, son of the late martial arts great Bruce Lee, plays the lead role in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film Rapid Fire, slated for release this summer. Lee stars as Jake Lo, a quiet art student from China. When he witnesses a brutal murder in Los Angeles' Chinatown district, he is forced to start using his martial arts skills to stay alive.
Lee, whose first American film, Showdown in Little Tokyo, drew mixed reviews, says that he has learned to live with being the son of a legend. "Since I can remember, my dad was always quite a phenomenon. Even more so after his death," he notes. "So my whole life I've lived with the reality that this very personal part of my life is completely public."

From Black Belt magazine, October 1992

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RISING SON

Brandon Lee, hero of Fox's action thriller, Rapid Fire, is a complex star in the making. And family is at the heart of this complexity - he's had to come to terms with his father Bruce's legacy. With a marketing campaign that relentlessly invokes his dad while touting him as the "Action Hero of the '90's," Rapid Fire is the first of Fox's three-picture commitment to Lee, a megadeal that could establish him as Hollywood's first Asian American male sex symbol since - well, since Bruce Lee. In this interview with Lee talks about his father, his career, action films and Asian American identity.

A. Magazine: About Rapid Fire: it seems like there's a lot going on in there that invites people to reflect on you and your history. For example, the theme about coming to terms with an absent father.

Brandon Lee: I think it's a little too pat to make a direct reference like that, and say that because a certain circumstance is true in an actor's life, then doing a film with a similar theme is an attempt on that actor's part to express something about it. It wasn't my idea for that to be the plot of the film, it was the writer and director's. Admittedly, it was one I didn't shy away from. It is interesting when you get offered a script and something that's going on in it clearly echoes something going on in you as well.

A.: But that question about following in your father's footsteps is a recurrent one.

BL: That's a question I can't really answer legitimately. You can't put a burden like that on yourself: it's a burden that only exists in other people's expectations of you. And you can't make choices in your career or your life based on other people's expectations. You have to make choices based on what your heart tells you to do. The character in this movie - Jake - is trying to come to some kind of peace with his father. That's something every young man needs to do in the process of growing from boy into man, and if you don't have your father around to give you that affirmation, then you just have to find that affirmation inside yourself, whether it's through visiting his grave or talking to his friends, or whatever.

A.: And you've done things like that?

BL: Well, it's an ongoing process, but when I think about following in my father's footsteps, I feel I've come to a certain amount of peace with trying to live up to something, and now all I try to do is my own work. Because that's all you can ask anybody to do. You can't ask somebody to try and copy somebody else.

A.: So are you happy with the martial arts direction? I remember years ago you saying that this is a vocabulary that you are used to, good at, and so on, but it's just a side of you.

BL: Well, I struggled for a while with: Do I want to do this, or do I want to stay away from it entirely, and just stick with straight acting roles, even if it means less work? And what I eventually decided was, after Showdown in Little Tokyo, in which I had very little input - I didn't choreograph the action sequences, I didn't have anything to do with the character except that I played it - I decided that I was just going to go into it, fully, and say "all right, if I'm going to do this, then I'm going to be able to walk away from this film and say, `you may not like it, but that's my vision.'" And there it is. I jumped in and did the choreography with the stunt coordinator, Jeff Amada. It was a good experience.

A.: Seems to me your character in Rapid Fire is pretty complex. Comparing it to Showdown, for example, in which you play a kind of assimilated "regular American guy" - in this film you're more of a mix.

BL: You know, the part in Showdown was so two-dimensional, and I'm sure some of that was my fault, but it just didn't compare to this. This was a much more involved work for me, and I found it a lot more rewarding. In Showdown I was the comic relief, basically. I had a good time with it, some of the scenes were really fun. I still really enjoy that scene where all the yakuza guys pull their guns on us, and my character gets to take his badge out and do that little monologue - I liked that, but I mean the guy's whole backstory in the film is summed up in one sentence: "Hey, you know, I'm from the Valley and my dad's a dentist." That's it. That's all you ever know about him. There was a lot more meat on Jake's bones.

A.: With Showdown, there was talk about it being a Japan-bashing film. That may be a bit ... nutty, but the Asian American community's reaction to it is interesting anyway. How do you relate to that?

BL: Well, to put it in a nutshell - see, I grew up in Hong Kong, so my very deeply ingrained memories and values - certainly filtered through having grown up in America for the majority of my life - the ones that got set in real deep, came from Chinese culture.

A.: You were there as a child.

BL: Yeah, I was there till I was nine, and I spoke Cantonese fluently, all my friends were Chinese. I went to Lasalle Academy, which is a Catholic school on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. But most of my experience with what it's like to be Asian in America comes through some strong feelings I have about my dad, strangely enough. The thing is, I don't look particularly Asian, and so I haven't been privy to being treated as particularly Asian, except on some very rare occasions. I'm sure you've had different experiences. Because if I walk into a room, unless someone knows who I am, it's very rare that someone will come up and say, "Do you have some Chinese blood in you?"

The thing about my dad was, so it's the early to mid '60s, and he's doing The Green Hornet, and he ended up having to go to Hong Kong to get the bulk of his work, because at that point a major American studio or TV station wasn't about to put an Asian man in the leading role in a Hollywood production. That was almost 30 years ago. The thing is, right now in 1992 there is not a single bankable Asian star in Hollywood. Not one.

So that's where I get most of my feelings about the matter, to tell you the truth.

A.: Also, I think that when he came back as a star, it was really as a foreign star, curiously enough.

BL: And the other fucked thing about it, you'll excuse my saying so, is that it was also almost entirely posthumous for the American public. By the time they figured it out, he was gone.

A.: I was also thinking as I watched the film that your character plays out the complexity of his mixed identity by passing in different communities. By speaking Chinese, by going into the laundry, it's possible for you to pass as this immigrant worker, while at other times you fly through non-Asian society and aren't marked - except for moments, for instance, in the hotel when these mock FBI guys say something like, "Oh, we could order out Chinese." That's a really interesting moment.

BL: Well, it's funny. Growing up, because a lot of people wouldn't consider me Chinese, there have been several times - the majority of what I've experienced as any kind of Asian prejudice - when people have felt comfortable making rude remarks in my presence, like I wouldn't mind because I don't look Asian or something, you know what I mean? And there have been many times when I've had to look at somebody and go, "Excuse me?" Then they get kind of abashed, like "oh, I'm sorry, I didn't really mean that."

They probably wouldn't do that in front of you.

A.: Well, you'd be surprised.

BL: Yeah, I probably would.

A.: What do you think about the marketing - the sex symbol, action hero of the '90s thing?

BL: I think it's really artificial. For one thing, it's very presumptuous, and for another, like all marketing, it just makes me recoil, the whole concept of it, and it's a side of this profession that I'm learning more about the more involved I get with my films. It's distasteful - you reduce something to its lowest common denominator - but I put myself in this position in order to be able to do something I dearly love doing. It's kind of Machiavellian: do the means justify the ends, you know?

A.: And yet it has a life of it's own. There's this whole other life that these images take on. I think that happened in the marketing of Rapid Fire.

BL: I just want people to come see the film. I'm not concerned about what people will think afterwards. I think that the marketing of this film - and I've told anybody who was involved in it that would listen - trivializes it to an extent, and they have told me, "well, the reason we're doing this is because it's supposed to appeal to this one particular crowd." I just hate all that shit. It just seems so manipulative to me. But then a movie that I enjoyed very much, Prelude to a Kiss, comes out and just does zip at the box office, and you hear people say it's because it was not readily understandable by the shopping mall audience. If I were to see the marketing and know nothing about Rapid Fire I would dismiss it: I'd say oh please!

The thing is, these films, the ones that work - like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon - you care about the characters, and there were stakes because of that. You care whether they lived or died. If you don't have that, then it becomes just about who can make a bigger explosion in the next reel, who can break more glass in the next scene.

A.: Speaking of blood and guts, I know that you worked in Hong Kong. I was wondering what you think of the whole new wave of Hong Kong action films, like John Woo's films.

BL: I admire them a great deal. There's so much inventiveness - the films that have been coming out in Hong Kong for the last decade are the cutting edge of action stuff.

A.: I'm really impressed by how much emotion they squeeze into those things. I mean, Jackie Chan, for instance, goes through a whole range of different rhythms: totally comedic action, serious action, sad action.

BL: They keep the same beats through an action scene that a dramatic scene would have, and they express character through a sequence instead of having it just become about blowing stuff up. And they do it inventively, and sometimes breathtakingly. Doing the choreography for Rapid Fire, I really wanted to bring the flavor of that to American film, to an American audience.

A.: What about your Hong Kong film - Legacy of Rage? How did you find that experience?

BL: At the time, it just about drove me insane, because things are so chaotic over there. I was working with a relatively new film company, DMB Films, and not only was there not a shooting schedule most days, there wasn't even a script. You know, you'd show up on the set, and it was just improvised from take to take. In some ways it was a really good experience, because it was like getting thrown in the deep end and having somebody say swim, but I was there for six months. When I got off the plane I literally kissed the ground all the way to the car.

A.: Do you have an audience out there? Did it do well?

BL: Yeah, it did. I think it was the second highest grossing movie of that year for Asia.

A.: Would you go back to work there?

BL: With a Chinese production? I don't know. It would depend who it was. There are people over there I would like to work with, I was thinking it would be nice for them to come over here. But if they invited me to come over I'd seriously think about it.

A.: Well, it'll be interesting to see what happens there, in '97 and all.

BL: I'm going to be there. I have a hotel suite booked. I'm serious - it's four years in advance, and they usually don't do it, but I have a good friend over there, so we have two different hotel suites booked: one at the Peninsula Hotel, and one at this new hotel that they haven't even finished building yet. But when it's finished, we've got hotel suites for that week in June or July when the regime switches over. It's gonna be amazing. You have to be there, you know, you have to be there! It's going to be a quarter revolution, a quarter riot, a quarter eulogy, and a quarter party. There'll be expatriates drinking and wailing in the streets.

A.: What do you plan to do? What are your next projects like?

BL: The next project's called The Crow. It's actually based on a graphic novella, you know, like The Dark Knight Returns, but this one's a little bit more underground than that Frank Miller Batman piece. It's by a guy named James O'Barr, and I'm playing a rock musician who is murdered and returns from the dead.

A.: Will it have action?

BL: It does. I'm doing the choreography again. I haven't really decided how I'm going to approach it yet, because to me you have to fit the action very much to the tone of the piece. Rapid Fire is a theatrical action movie. The fight scenes in it are not what I would say, "Hey, this is what a real fight looks like." You know, the techniques are still valid, but you're walking a line between reality and theatricality. That's why I think Hong Kong action movies don't play in this country - one of the reasons - because they go too far in the direction of theatricality. And they undercrank all the action, which makes it come off looking a bit frenetic and cartoonish.

A.: Yeah, but the audience has a real vocabulary for that ...

BL: But it's that audience. Doing it for an American film, I was very conscious of exactly that. There were things we wanted to do, but we just shook our heads and grinned and said "Ah, we can't do that."

Actually, Jeff and I talk about it a lot. It'll be great: we'll do this one, and then we'll do one more, and then on the third one we'll really be able to let go because we'll have built a...vocabulary, like you said. The Crow is a very dark piece, it's got supernatural overtones, obviously, the guy comes back from the dead. And he's a little bit more, and a little bit less than human - he's something different than human. And so the action's going to be a little bit wilder than in Rapid Fire. I mean, it won't be a straight action film.

A.: Well, there are a lot of elements in Rapid Fire that play against the straight action film, like the way the character's introduced with a flashback to Tiananmen.

BL: I'm telling you, for that scene, they rebuilt the Goddess of Democracy, they had six Soviet tanks, and three or four hundred screaming, running, bleeding Chinese student extras with automatic weapon fire going off. And so much thought had gone into it on my part, but when we actually shot it I found that I didn't have to do a goddamn thing except stand there and look at it.

I enjoyed that whole part.

A.: And there's that little Cantonese insult scene, where you're making fun of Ryan, your white boss, and he doesn't understand what's going on.

BL: It's funny, because for that sequence the director just said, say something insulting to him, it doesn't matter what. So I said something pretty insulting, and they didn't subtitle it, and they never asked me what it meant. Anybody who speaks Cantonese in the audience ... I don't know, it might be pushing the MPAA rating, you know? (Laughter)

A.: I'm not sure any of the ratings people will know what's going on. But there again it seems to me that your presence in this film generates other interesting effects. It's as if you had an action film and the lead was black - you're going to see other blacks in the film, you've got to have some reflection on that theme ...

BL: Well, okay, just as an example: in the last decade, the African American film scene has really jumped. You have African American directors, writer, actors, and that's something you really can't say about the Asian American film scene. And the thing is, a lot of black actors now are saying, you know, that even though I'm black, I can still play an Everyman character that's not specifically related to me as a black man. When those films were first coming up, a lot of them were about people telling stories of their neighborhoods, their people, how and where they grew up. There's a wealth of stories like that from the Asian American community that hasn't been tapped into yet.

A.: And that's a preliminary stage, it seems to me, too. Having that presence out there, to the point where you don't feel ghettoized by having to tell just those stories.

BL: Exactly. You reach the point once more where you get to where you should have been in the first place, and you can play the Everyman character, and not have it stand out glaringly: this man is Asian American, this man is African American.

A.: So do you see that as part of your project? Is that something you're conscious of in your career?

BL: If anything, the only thing that I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder is about just that: wanting to advance. Maybe in 10 years there'll be more Asians in film. That's something my father started to bring about and didn't have time to finish, and something that I think I'll have a chance to work on a little bit more.

A.: It's a pretty heavy burden to place on your shoulders. Not only do you have to act, but you represent people in a way.

BL: Oh, but the thing is: you only have the burdens on you that you choose to put there.


From A. Magazine, October 31, 1992

< BACK
"My mother, sister and I moved around a lot in those years. I still don't exactly have it straight. There were a couple of years in Calgary with my mother's family..."

Does anyone have any information about this quote from the Seattle Post Intelligenser article? Is Brandon referring to Calgary, Alberta Canada? I live in Calgary and have not seen any reference to this city mentioned anywhere before. Did Linda's family stay in Calgary at one point? This would be extremely interesting news to me if it is true.
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Tom Britt
Tom Britt

December 28th, 2006, 1:02 am #5

Thank you, Nick! Those were a great read. It's such a shame what happened to Brandon. He seemed to be a truly genuine guy.
I don't remember posting this here before, but Brandon died in my hometown. I live in Wilmington, North Carolina. Brandon was shot on soundstage number 4 at Carolco Studio. It is now Screen Gems Studios. The studios are about 6 miles from my home. The hospital where he later died is about 4 miles from here.

I have a part time job as a Limousine driver. From time to time I go to the studio to pick someone up, or bring them to the studio from the airport. A few months ago I was on the studio lot and I had some time to look around. I walked into soundstage number 4 to have a look.

It is a huge building. Looks as if it is being used as a warehouse now. It was mostly empty except for some offices on one end. I drive by the studio often. It is hard not to think about what happened out there that night.
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Leon
Leon

December 28th, 2006, 10:40 am #6

"My mother, sister and I moved around a lot in those years. I still don't exactly have it straight. There were a couple of years in Calgary with my mother's family..."

Does anyone have any information about this quote from the Seattle Post Intelligenser article? Is Brandon referring to Calgary, Alberta Canada? I live in Calgary and have not seen any reference to this city mentioned anywhere before. Did Linda's family stay in Calgary at one point? This would be extremely interesting news to me if it is true.
Leon
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Tisee
Tisee

December 28th, 2006, 11:00 pm #7

I don't remember posting this here before, but Brandon died in my hometown. I live in Wilmington, North Carolina. Brandon was shot on soundstage number 4 at Carolco Studio. It is now Screen Gems Studios. The studios are about 6 miles from my home. The hospital where he later died is about 4 miles from here.

I have a part time job as a Limousine driver. From time to time I go to the studio to pick someone up, or bring them to the studio from the airport. A few months ago I was on the studio lot and I had some time to look around. I walked into soundstage number 4 to have a look.

It is a huge building. Looks as if it is being used as a warehouse now. It was mostly empty except for some offices on one end. I drive by the studio often. It is hard not to think about what happened out there that night.
I would get kind of an eerie feeling if I were to pass by there everyday. You must have been one of the first to hear about the tragic news in '93.
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Tom Britt
Tom Britt

December 29th, 2006, 11:25 pm #8

>You must have been one of the first to hear about the tragic news in '93.<

If I remember correctly, Brandon died somewhere around 1:00 in the afternoon local time. I heard about it around 5:30 that afternoon on the local news. So a little more than four hours passed before I heard the news.

>I would get kind of an eerie feeling if I were to pass by there everyday.<

I drove by there yesterday. Yeah, it is hard not to think about what happened out there that night. Still hard to beleive.
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Joined: January 17th, 2014, 1:19 am

August 16th, 2014, 9:57 am #9

Leon
Do you remember or know who the first guest was? The gentleman didn't bother to shake Brandon's hand when he came out.
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Joined: January 10th, 2009, 6:44 pm

September 5th, 2014, 4:03 pm #10

I have only the brandon lee part...
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